Record-Setting Year for NICS Background Checks


Last year was very busy for the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS), setting a new record for the number of checks initiated at a whopping 28,369,750, which doesn’t translate to the number of firearms sold, but it’s a good indicator that gun sales are healthy.

In 1999, the first full year of background checks, 9,138,123 checks were conducted. Since NICS went online, the FBI has conducted 333,004,066 checks (as of Dec. 31, 2019). With all the talk in Virginia, Oregon, Florida, Washington, California and elsewhere about more gun control on the horizon, combined with this being an election year, watch for even more NICS activity.

Source: FBI National Instant Check System

December 2019 saw the second highest number of NICS checks for that month in 20 years, eclipsed only by the 3,314,594 checks done in 2015. That was the year Hillary Clinton became a candidate for president to succeed Barack Obama and was expected by many to waltz into the Oval Office the following year.

Certainly not meant as a joke, the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb told the Washington Times and Insider Online essentially the same thing: “Democrats have been the best gun salesmen of the year.”

He was referring to the 20-plus Democrats who were running for president in 2019 — a number that has been pared down considerably, thanks in large part to the extreme positions on gun control espoused by several of them — and the rhetoric flowing out of Richmond, Va., where the new Democratic majority immediately started threatening Old Dominion gun owners with all kinds of restrictive gun laws.

That leads us to another interesting statistic: 87 Virginia counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms threw their support behind the Sanctuary movement a few weeks ago. And more recently, the City of Virginia Beach — scene of the mass shooting last May 31st that ignited the current gun control crusade — declared itself a “Second Amendment Constitutional City.”

Second Amendment Sanctuaries have popped up all over the country, in Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in Arizona

Insider Online keeps tabs on a few states that provide easy access to the number of active concealed carry licenses, and Arizona is always good for a look-see.

On a recent view of their data, we found the number of active licenses to be more than 350,200. That’s up more than 12,000 since mid-December 2018 — and this is a state where no license is required to carry a sidearm openly or concealed. Arizona is a “constitutional carry” state, so the only reason people might have for obtaining and renewing their carry license is because it’s recognized by other states, referred to as reciprocity.

Up in Washington state, which shares word-for-word the same right to bear arms state constitutional provision with Arizona, more than 646,000 active concealed pistol licenses are in circulation. Anti-gunners are desperately trying to erode that with a training requirement that’s never been mandated before.

The concern is about who would set the training standard, what would be required and the cost; all things thrown at gun owners to discourage them.

Ruger SR1911

Officer-Style Carry

The Ruger Custom Shop has turned out a new Officer-style SR1911 pistol in .45 ACP that looks pretty good for concealed carry.

It takes a 7-round magazine, has a stainless steel slide with cocking serrations fore and aft, and Black Nitride-finished frame. It sports deluxe G10 grip panels, a tritium front sight and adjustable combat rear sight, both dovetailed into the slide.

The 3.6-inch stainless steel, bushingless bull barrel is cut with six lands and grooves on a 1:16-inch right hand twist with a target crown. Naturally, the feed ramp is polished.

Ruger says the pistol’s overall length is 7.25 inches with a weight of 33 ounces empty, which should lean itself well to carry in a quality holster.

The pistol comes with two 7-round magazines, a cleaning cloth, lockable hard case and challenge coin.

Why Gun Control Laws Don’t Work

Next time someone insists their gun control proposal will keep firearms out of the wrong hands, just throw out the name Steven Michael Lincoln.

He’s the 25-year-old convicted felon from Ham Lake, Minn., who just can’t seem to stay away from firearms. According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, police officers found him after the holidays in a vehicle parked in a St. Paul alley along with — you sitting down? — a loaded firearm, 18 rounds of ammunition, several magazines belonging to two different guns and a ballistic vest. It was the fourth time since last September this model citizen had been arrested, each time with one or more guns.

Back in September, according to the story, the suspect was popped because the windows in his car were illegally tinted. Maybe that was to conceal the “multiple bags of marijuana” and the two loaded handguns he had inside.

A few weeks later, when police arrested him on a warrant from the September incident, he was reportedly working on his car. This time he had a small bag of meth and there was a handgun stuck in his waistband. Another handgun was inside the vehicle.

Lincoln had entered not guilty pleas and had been released on bond for the October arrest, the newspaper noted.

“Straight Out of Grand Theft Auto”

That’s how a bizarre attempted home invasion burglary-turned-demolition derby in Las Vegas was described when a 30-year-old man smashed his way into a residence and was fatally shot by the woman inside.

According to a witness identified by KTNV News as Oscar Chavez, “It was something straight out of Grand Theft Auto.” He’s a neighbor of the woman who fired the shot.

The would-be burglar was confronted by the armed female resident. She fired when he apparently lunged at her, according to KLAS News, but that didn’t stop him. Wounded in the arm and chest, the suspect jumped into a 4-door Kia and then proceeded to flee, hitting several parked cars in the process.

Las Vegas police found him in the crashed car about two blocks from the crime scene. The front left tire was flat.

The suspect, identified as Justin Jerod Smith, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Published reports said the homeowner would not likely face charges.